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Botanist's Lens: Stuck on Stargazer!

Not just the swallow tail in the video below seems stuck on the gorgeous Lily, but I am too! Oriental lilies are considered be one of the most attractive cut flowers. Bright colors, petal size, varieties, there are ample Lilies to choose form. But once you lock your eyes with Lilium orientalis 'Stargazer,' you will probably not choose any other lily. The fragrance is deep and the colors give even more depth. Also, most lilies are downward or sideways facing, but the 'Stargazer' is upward facing, hence the beautiful name which literally refers to flowers being open faced, gazing at the stars!

'Stargazer' was a variety developed by Dr. Leslie Woodriff in the late 1970's. "Stargazers are easy to grow and do best in full sunlight. They have a fast growth rate and should be planted in full sun in well-drained loamy or sandy soil. When mature, 'Stargazers' can grow to a height of 36 inches with a spread of 10 to 14 inches with 2 to 8 flowers per stem" (Source).

But if you have cats as pets, steer away from the 'Stargazer' "The ASPCA reports this plant as being toxic to cats.

You can read more about the numerous Lily hybrids on the following link.

'Stargazer' is commonly available and easy to establish. Plant your blubs in early fall to cherish the blooms in mid-June the following year. Summer is also a good time to plan for fall bulbs/perennials to plant. Lilies, gladiolas, even Black Eyed Susans can fill up a garden palette with vibrant colors during the hottest weeks.

Mid summer is a good time to scout your garden for spots that are in need of color between the July-Sept. Daylilies are a good filler and you can plant so much in combination with them to have a mid-late summer blossoming garden. For sure though, Black Eyed Susan and 'Stargazer' lilies will be the most promising in terms of color year after year!

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